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What Should You Do When You Witness Workplace Bullying?

By Judith Munson

So, instead of sticking your head in the sand and hoping that it will all go away, (it never does) there is one thing you can do when you witness workplace bullying and that is to speak Up and inform the proper authorities in that department!

Research does show that even though 95% of co-workers know when someone is being verbally abused, intimidated or bullied, only about 8% of them actually did something about it. 28% of these witnesses felt sorry for what was happening and offered some type of moral support to the target.

The remainder of them did absolutely nothing at all or, if you can believe it, they sided with the bully!

Why is it that most people don't do anything when they see bullying happening?

The biggest reason that we have found for this inaction on the part of the witnesses is simply, fear. As much as we hate to see others get hurt, we often have thoughts like, "I'm glad it's not me."

Witnesses are often afraid that speaking up might turn them into a target and they are usually right.

It is a real possibility because, hardly anyone who witnesses any type of workplace bullying first hand wants to take the bull (bully) by the horns and talk about it with their supervisor or report it to HR department or other proper authorities.

Just remember this though, if you do nothing, you can be considered an accomplice to the bully. So please, say something to someone, even if it's just a few words of support to the person that is being victimized.

Here is a very interesting case study that we found.

Doctors, and in particular, surgeons, are often seen bullying those around them especially in the operating room. In light of this fact, nurses around the world have developed what is called a "Code Pink."

Here's how it works, if a doctor starts bullying a nurse, other nurses in the vicinity will stand beside the nurse being bullied and form a circle around her/him.

They will also display assertive body language and stare at the doctor until he realizes that his behavior isn't acceptable. This is a strong way of stating that no one will tolerate bullying, and it often sends such a compelling message to the person doing the bullying that it prevents it from happening again.

Please do something if it is obvious that workplace bullying is going on. You could very well be saving the health or even the life of the person getting bullied, it's that important.

Judith Munson is an expert in the field of workplace bullying. She's the author of, "Alligators In The Water Cooler, A guide to identifying bullies and their buddies in the workplace", along with a number of other publications and articles. Because she was mobbed by a bully and her buddies, Judith has become a speaker, trainer and facilitator against all types of bullying behaviors in the workplace along with being a strong advocate of the Healthy Workplace Bill.

To learn more about Judith and her work, go to Workplace Intimidation, phone 530-873-6159 or email:

Students send a message to bullies By Irene Sege - Students send a message to bullies: Don't be cruel MARLBOROUGH -- Nineteen students crowd into their middle school's library conference room, boys well into their growth spurts and others barely begun, one girl in braces and pigtails, another in braces and eye shadow. Whether they jostle to be heard or nod from the sidelines, they are, by virtue of youth and culture, experts on the subject under discussion, which is bullying. (Added: 4-Feb-2004 Hits: 1367 )

CNN - Study: Bullying rampant in U.S. middle schools - August 20, 1999 By n/a - So what makes bullies do what they do? "It's fun," said one unrepentant bully. "These kids, they're like helpless -- I mean they've got the big glasses and fat stomachs." Recent school shootings across the country have put a spotlight on bullying. The shooters in those tragedies had said they'd been made to feel like social outcasts. (Added: 4-Feb-2004 Hits: 1075 )

If Your Child Is The Bully By n/a - What every parent doesn't want to hear - your child is behaving like a bully. Your first response will probably be defensive. Disarm the situation and buy yourself some time to process what's being said. For example, "Instead of labeling my child, please tell me what happened." Make yourself really listen. Remember that this discussion is ultimately about the well-being of your child, regardless of how its being framed. (Added: 4-Feb-2004 Hits: 1016 )

Dealing With An Aggressive Person By n/a - There is no justification for violent aggression, such as spouse, child, or sibling abuse, criminal assault, rape, bullying, or any other physical harm or psychological insult to another person. You do not have to be a helpless "punching bag" or a timid Casper Milquetoast or a frightened scapegoat. You do not have to hide your feelings. What can you do? Express yourself assertively (chapter 13), if possible. Of course, if your life is in danger (and it is if someone is threatening or hitting you!), do whatever helps you reach safety. The problem is we don't know with any certainty how to protect ourselves from all grave dangers. For example, some abusive men have killed their wives for reporting their abuse to the police. (Added: 4-Feb-2004 Hits: 1135 )

Bullies Who Kill - Brandon's Story By n/a - Although rarely labeled as such, "Bullying" is a crime. This "other" crime of "Bullying," injures, maims, destroys and kills-- as effectively as a gun. Until a proactive approach is taken with the crime of "Bullying," a reactive approach to the crime of school shootings is futile. (Added: 4-Feb-2004 Hits: 1151 )

If Your Child Is Being Bullied By n/a - Get as much information as you can about what has happened. Avoid blaming anyone, including the bullying child or children. Look at your own child's behavior and style of interacting. Ask yourself what you know about your child and how you can turn the immediate situation around. (Added: 4-Feb-2004 Hits: 884 )

Plea to beat the bullies By Adrian Short - A WIDNES mother whose teenage daughter lives in constant fear of attacks by classroom bullies has added her voice to a Government campaign to get young victims speaking out about their ordeals (Added: 4-Feb-2004 Hits: 884 )

School bullies and bullying at school By n/a - It seems that children bully for a variety of reasons and when dealing with child bullying it's essential to identify who is the bully at the centre of the violence - there's usually one person who's the gang leader - and the reasons for bullying which include: (Added: 4-Feb-2004 Hits: 1072 )

The Bully Battle By n/a - A recent survey reports that for every ten kids in class, one to two experience bullying. More than half say they have stayed home at least once because they were victims of bullying. In fact, four of every ten public school students in grades 6 through 12 have avoided using the school bathrooms at some time out of fear of being harassed. (Added: 4-Feb-2004 Hits: 981 )

Teaching children not to be -- or be victims of -- bullies By n/a - Parents and teachers are sometimes reluctant to intervene in conflicts between young children. They don't want to see children harm or ridicule one another, but they want to encourage children to learn how to work out problems for themselves. In such cases, adults have a responsibility to stop violence or aggression in the classroom or at home -- both for children who demonstrate harmful behavior and for all other children. We can teach children not to take part in -- or become victims of -- bullying. (Added: 4-Feb-2004 Hits: 993 )

Natural Born Bullies By Robin Grille - The media attention given recently to the phenomenon of bullying in schools, is truly a cause for celebration. Finally our world has begun to take seriously the plight of children: the most powerless sector of the community. Initiatives under way in schools are designed to intervene by identifying bullies and their victims, and then providing counseling and education in more effective social skills. Programs have been developed to teach school bullies alternative behaviors, impulse control, conflict resolution and negotiation skills. The victims of bullying are offered support, protection, and trained in assertiveness wherever practicable. (Added: 4-Feb-2004 Hits: 936 )

Bullies often Mr Popular at school, study finds By n/a - Contrary to popular opinion, school bullies do not suffer from low self-esteem and are often popular and considered "cool" by their classmates, a new study has found. (Added: 4-Feb-2004 Hits: 882 )

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Robert's books have sold over 300 thousand copies worldwide, and have been translated into Chinese, French, German and Japanese.

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